Great Western Air Ambulance charity shop in Yate ‘smashed’ and cash stolen during break-in

Hundreds of pounds worth of damage was caused in the shop
The shop had opened in August 2021 and recently had one of its best ever weeks in terms of takings Credit: Great Western Air Ambulance Charity

A charity shop in Yate was been left damaged and cash has been stolen after a break-in.

The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) shop was broken into during the May bank holiday.

The money in the South Gloucestershire store is used to help people who are suffering a life-threatening illness or injury.

It is estimated hundreds of pounds worth of damage was caused during the break-in and between £70 and £100 cash was stolen.

The shop manager, Marwa Bahssali, saw the "heart-breaking" devastation in the morning of May 3 when she entered the store.

She said: "Someone had gained entrance through the front door and then located our huge collection globe towards the back of the shop.

"They smashed it open and managed to grab most of the banknotes, before making off.

"People have had the kindness to donate money that they would have worked hard for, to help save the lives of people in Yate and beyond.

"It’s the sadness that someone has made so much effort to break in to our wonderful shop and take that cash for themselves that disappoints us so much."

The shop staff say money was stolen from the collection box so the offenders may have known the layout of the store.

The collection globe has also been damaged beyond repair and will cost between £100 and £200 to replace.

Marwa added: "Something like this is heart-breaking for our wonderful team of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly and donate so much time to running our charity shops. But we’re determined not to let this affect us.

"We are of course tightening our security, but we are open for business, and we’d like to thank everyone in the community for their continued support.

"I am asking anyone who knows anything about this incident to make contact with us, or please contact the police."

The shop in Yate Shopping Centre has been open for fewer than 10 months and first welcomed customers in August 2021.

The shop recently had its best week in terms of takings which is usually an average of over £400 a day.

Police have been informed of the incident and Shopping Centre Management are looking through security footage to gain information on the time and date of the break-in.